Saturday, February 4, 2017

2/4: HBD Lefty, Possum & Sacman; Danny, Denny & Joe Join Up; George, Bo & Bronson Leave; Roberto DD MoY

  • 1875 - OF Alfonzo “Lefty” Davis was born in Nashville. Between 1901-02, he went to the plate 675 times for the Pirates and hit .300 w/.399 OBP, scoring 139 runs in 146 games played while swiping 41 bases. Despite that production, he would only play two more big league seasons, spending most of his career toiling in the minors as both a player and manager.
Possum Whitted 1921 (photo Conlon Collection/Getty)
  • 1890 - UT George “Possum” Whitted (he picked up his nicknamed because of his tales of backwoods possum hunting) was born in Durham, North Carolina. Possum played in Pittsburgh from 1919-21, hitting .286 while manning first, third and left field. He was at the back end of an 11-year career, and after one game for the Dodgers in 1922, his MLB days were done. His versatility was a big part of his longevity. Possum was the first rookie in history to start at every position except pitcher and catcher during a season, and over the course of his career started at least 39 times at every non-battery position.
  • 1927 - The Bucs claimed veteran 1B/OF Joe Harris off waivers from Washington. He started in Pittsburgh, hitting .326 in 129 games and was batting .391 in June of 1928 when he was flipped to the Brooklyn Robins in what became the 37-year-old’s last MLB season.
  • 1932 - The Pirates sold 31-year-old 2B George Grantham to the Reds. Grantham was the Bucco second sacker for the 1925 and 1927 World Series clubs and put up seven straight .300+ seasons for Pittsburgh, with a BA of .315 between 1925-31. The FO must have had a glimmer that his tank was running low; his .300 streak ended at Cincinnati (.294) while his Pirates replacement Tony Piet hit .282 and then .323 the following campaign. George became a sub for the Reds in 1933 and left the game following the next campaign.
Dan Plesac 1996 Fleer Ultra
  • 1962 - LHP Dan “Sacman” Plesac was born in Gary, Indiana. He tossed for Pittsburgh from 1995-96, somewhere in the middle of his 18-year career in the show, and slashed 10-9-14/3.86. He was part of the deal that brought Jose Silva, Craig Wilson and Abraham Nunez to the Pirates from Toronto after the 1996 campaign.
  • 1962 - Roberto Clemente was given the Dapper Dan Man of the Year Award after hitting .351 in 1961 to claim the NL batting title, his first of four crowns. Ex-Pittsburgh mayor and then Pennsylvania governor David Lawrence presented Clemente with his plaque. The Great One said on acceptance that “This award belongs to the fans and my teammates as much as it does to me."
  • 1970 - The Bucs sent noted playboy and so-so hurler Bo Belinsky to the Reds for RHP Dennis Ribant. Belinsky went 0-3 in eight games as a Pirate with a 4.58 ERA, and 1970 was his last MLB year; Ribant lasted a season for Pittsburgh, with a 9-8 record and a 4.08 ERA as a swingman before moving on to the AL.
Danny Darwin 1996 (photo Mitchell Layton/Getty)
  • 1996 - RHP Danny Darwin signed with the Pirates after a couple of dismal seasons at Boston, Toronto and Texas. He went 7-9 with a sparkling 3.02 ERA and was flipped at the deadline to Houston for reliever Rick Loiselle. Darwin was dubbed "Doctor Death" by Houston’s Nolan Ryan because Danny was always ready to rumble. He got into two famous bouts with teammates Orel Hershiser and Barry Bonds, though Bonds was just a hot verbal altercation.
  • 2003 - The Red Sox claimed Bronson Arroyo off waivers from the Pirates. After three seasons and a 9-14/5.44 ERA for Pittsburgh, he’s quietly worked another decade in the show since then, winning 100+ games with a rep of an inning eater. After a stint with the Arizona D-Backs following an eight year run with the Cincinnati Reds, he returned to the Reds organization this season, taking a nearly three year big league hiatus due to TJ surgery and elbow issues.

No comments: